The Browning of America and the Evasion of Social Justice

By Ronald R. Sundstrom

Subjects: Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Diversity
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race
Paperback : 9780791475867, 200 pages, October 2008
Hardcover : 9780791475850, 200 pages, October 2008

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Table of contents



1. Frederick Douglass’s Political Apostasy

2. Color Blindness and the Browning of America

3. The Black-White Binary as Racial Anxiety and Demand for Justice

4. Interracial Intimicies: Racism and the Political Romance of the Browning of America

5. Responsible Multiracial Politics



Considers the effects of the browning of America on philosophical debates over race, racism, and social justice.


This book considers the challenge that the so-called browning of America poses for any discussion of the future of race and social justice. In the philosophy of race there has been little reflection about how the rapid increase in the Latino, Asian American, and mixed-race populations affects the historical demands for racial justice by Native Americans and African Americans. Ronald R. Sundstrom examines how recent demographic shifts bear upon central questions in race theory and social and political philosophy, including color blindness, interracial intimacy, and the future of race.

Sundstrom cautions that rather than getting caught up in romantic reveries about the browning of America, we should remain vigilant that longstanding claims for racial justice not be washed away.

Ronald R. Sundstrom is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco.


"…this is a heartfelt and reasoned examination of the role of race in the changing demographics of the United States. What one will find most interesting is [Sundstrom's] discussion of interracial intimacy. Sundstrom accurately lays out the role that race plays as an important element in our understanding of sexual intimacy … The Browning of America is a well-argued and provocative discussion of a major moral conundrum facing the people of the United States." — Journal of American Ethnic History

"The Browning of America stands as a significant contribution to the philosophical literature on race and racism. Sundstrom's … engagement with the debates surrounding color-blind policies and ideals, as well as his arguments for the importance and viability of multiracial identity, all help to make what is a relatively short book pack a significant philosophical punch." — Social Theory and Practice

"This book is on the cutting edge of a series of issues in American life today—race, immigration, mixed-race persons. It brings a very thoughtful, scholarly, and humane approach to these issues and is entirely original, while also being thoroughly grounded in literature on race and racism, on African American philosophy, and on identity theory. Sundstrom beautifully keeps in balance concerns for social justice and personal issues of identity expression, love, intimacy, and sexuality." — Lawrence Blum, author of "I'm Not a Racist, But…": The Moral Quandary of Race